Wednesday, July 1, 2009


My mom fixed us a version of this when I was a kid! I loved it when she did! Typically, she fixed it in the summer--my family ate hot food exclusively in the fall and winter--but I fixed it all year round. Everybody liked it, including whatever drop-in guests that we had! And I usually had all the "fixings" hanging around, so it was no big deal! And what an impact!

And even I know that this bears absolutely NO resemblance to the current taco salads--or any Mexican food, period! It's great-tasting, though, if you're in the mood for a fun-food lunch or dinner! I usually made it without the meat, although my mom's version had 1 lb. ground beef or turkey, fried until it was done. She didn't add any seasonings to it, other than salt and pepper, and it made this salad very filling!

If you're in the mood for spicy, you can add Tabasco sauce or cayenne pepper to the dressing or to the soy meat. The addition of spices to the soy meat, or meat, is more contained than the dressing addition. Also, I've tossed in stray bits of jicama and/or corn I have sitting around, which adds sweetness and crunch. This is good, but the original version, left alone, is better! Ha!

For the salad:
Optional: 12 oz. package soy meat, plain
Optional: 1/4 tsp. salt
Optional: 1/4 tsp. pepper
1 head romaine or iceberg lettuce, chopped into bite-sized pieces
3 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2"-3/4" dice
1 medium brown, white, or red onion--it depends on what I have!--chopped or diced
1 15-oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or more, if you like)
1 small can chopped ripe olives (Jenna won't remember this; I hate olives, so I never added them!)
1 6-8 oz. package good quality yellow corn chips, crushed, but not pulverized!

If you're using it, brown the meat with the salt and pepper, or the soy meat with the pepper.

You can cut stuff up during this time, or you can do it later, while the meat is chilling. To chill the meat quicker, put it on a paper towel on a plate in the freezer. Check it every 20 minutes, or so, because it actually will start to freeze fairly quickly! I learned this the hard way! Ha!

For the dressing:
You can make your own, or you can just buy 8 oz. (we like more) of thousand island dressing.

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup catsup
1/3 cup sweet pickle relish
Optional: few drops of Tabasco sauce
Optional: 1/8 tsp. or more cayenne pepper

Mix everything together in a container. For best results, refrigerate it for a couple of hours. On the other hand, I never plan that far ahead, and I generally use it immediately. Nobody's ever complained! Ha!

To assemble:
Put the lettuce in a large bowl--large enough to toss everything without spilling! Put the meat, or soy meat--if you're using it, obviously!, tomatoes, onions, kidney beans, cheddar cheese, and olives in pie-slice-shaped wedges around the salad. Put it on the table, so everyone can see your artistry! Now, pour the crushed chips over the top. Add the dressing, starting with about half the above recipe, and toss it to coat everything. I think this is a bit dry, so I add more dressing--like, the rest of it! I'm the type who likes a little salad with her dressing! Ha! Serve IMMEDIATELY, since the chips will absorb the dressing and get soggy pretty quickly!

To serve later: do the lettuce and the "pie wedges," cover, and refrigerate until you're ready to eat. Add the chips and dressing, and toss!

This is so good; I'm really looking forward to dinner! Ha! MMMMMMMMMMMMMM!


  1. Man, I hadn't thought about this salad in YEARS. This was one of my favorites!

  2. Chels and I had this tonight and it was SO GOOD!!!!



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